I have many, many scientific interests. In general, my interests include stream ecology, metacommunity ecology, life-history, and conservation biology. Specifically, I am interested in macroconsumer dynamics and the relationship between organisms and the environment. Some of my work has focused on how fish change ecosystem properties and how that is influenced by fish community diversity and density. In addition, I enjoy studying the influence habitat heterogeneity has on community structure (and vice-versa).
I completed my bachelor's degree at Ball State University and worked for both Dr. Melody Bernot and Dr. Mark Pyron. I began working on my PhD at Kansas State University immediately following my undergraduate.
I am currently a PhD candidate at Kansas State University, under the advisement of Dr. Keith Gido, and hope to be completed in December of 2013. In addition to researching prairie stream fishes on Konza Prairie, I teach introductory and upper level biology and ecology courses at KSU. I was awarded the EIDRoP GK-12 fellowship for the 2012-2013 year and was a resident scientist for Junction City High School in Kansas, with the goal of igniting an interest in science for young people and teach them proper methods of scientific inquiry.
North American prairie is one of the most endangered ecosystems in the United States, with tallgrass prairie losses estimated around 95%! Prairie streams are endangered because of fragmentation, channelization and alterations on channel morphology, and agricultural runoff. Further, numerous Great Plains fishes have been declining for decades because of changing landuse and stream flow patterns. My hope is to provide information that can be used for the successful conservation and preservation of these systems through a descriptive and technical understanding of their functions and processes.
For more information on the work I'm doing or classes I teach, check out the links up top!